in Iraq


Access to Food 'Precarious' for Syrians Stranded Near Jordan

Voice of America - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 18:35
The U.N. humanitarian chief called for immediate “life-saving” access to 50,000 displaced Syrians stranded on the sealed border with Jordan, as aid officials reported a sharp drop in food supplies in the remote desert camp since Syrian government forces advanced toward the area in the summer.   Black market prices for food have soared and malnutrition is on the rise among young children in the Rukban camp, the officials said.   Mark Lowcock, the U.N. official, told the U.N....
Categories: Iraq

Somalia Remains World's Worst for Unsolved Journalist Murders

Voice of America - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 17:45
Somalia is the world's worst country for unsolved murders of journalists for the third straight year, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. In its 10th annual Global Impunity Index, released Tuesday, the committee said more than two dozen journalists were murdered over the past decade in Somalia, where a prolonged civil war continues. After ranking third last year, Syria, in the throes of a more than six-year civil war, claimed the second worst spot on the index,...
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Libyans Accuse Egypt of Bombing Civilians in Darna

Voice of America - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 17:32
Lawmakers and forces controlling an eastern Libyan city have accused the Egyptian air force of conducting deadly airstrikes, leaving a dozen civilians dead including an entire family.   Lawmaker Hamad al-Bandaq said Tuesday the fighter jets bombed a house in al-Fatayah district in eastern Darna late Monday, killing at least 12 people. Most of them were women and children who were paying a visit to their sick relative, he said.   A second airstrike bombed a shepherd and his...
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Egyptian Government's Youth Event Slammed on Social Media

Voice of America - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 17:11
A planned gathering of international youth organized by the Egyptian government has been slammed on its own social media hashtag, with dozens of posts criticizing leaders for their poor human rights record and campaigns against free speech. Billed as the "World Youth Forum" under the patronage of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the event is scheduled for Nov. 4-10 in the Red Sea city of Sharm el-Sheikh. It encouraged people to use the hashtag #WeNeedToTalk for English and...
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Syria Activists say 4 Children Killed in Government Shelling

Voice of America - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 14:50
At least four Syrian children were killed in government shelling as they left their school in a rebel-held town, part of an intensifying campaign against the last opposition holdouts outside the capital Damascus, activists reported Tuesday.   The violence comes as Russian-sponsored talks are underway in the Kazakh capital Astana to consolidate so-called "de-escalation zones" designed to freeze the lines of conflict and allow humanitarian aid to rebel-held areas besieged by...
Categories: Iraq

The Untold Quiet of Kurdish Iraq

NY Times Iraq - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:00
Lam Duc-Hien, a Vietnamese photographer, first imagined Iraq to be full of tanks and violence. But after documenting the Kurdish region of Iraq for more than two decades, he found something very different.
Categories: Iraq

UN Official: Over 13 Million People Inside Syria Need Aid

Voice of America - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 06:15
More than 13 million people inside Syria still need humanitarian assistance and nearly half are in "acute need'' as a result of having fled their homes, of hostilities, and of limited access to food, health care and other basic needs, the U.N. humanitarian chief said Monday.   Mark Lowcock told the Security Council the number of Syrians who have been displaced within the country for a long time has dropped from 6.3 million to 6.1 million. But he said "levels of new...
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Special US Envoy Reports ‘Important Progress’ in Mideast Peace

Voice of America - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 03:25
U.S. special Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt was in Israel Sunday as part of the Trump administration’s attempt to get Israel-Palestinian peace talks back on track. Greenblatt tweeted that “important progress” was made. “Meaningful steps forward on key economic issues — revenues, customs, and investment — that help support the search for peace,” he said. Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner was also at the talks in Ramallah which included Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah,...
Categories: Iraq

US, Qatar Agree to Further Curbs on Terrorist Financing

Voice of America - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 01:55
Qatar has agreed to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation with the United States to crack down on illicit financing of militant groups, a joint Qatari-U.S. statement said on Monday following a visit by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Mnuchin's visit to Doha marked the end of a week-long trip aimed at curbing terrorist financing. There were earlier stops in Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, where the U.S. in May announced the Terrorist Financing Targeting...
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Women in Saudi Arabia Cheer News They Will Be Allowed into Sport Stadiums

Voice of America - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 00:40
Women in Saudi Arabia on Monday welcomed the announcement that they will be allowed to watch sporting events in previously all-male stadiums for the first time. The move is the latest in a series of reforms in the deeply conservative Sunni Muslim kingdom that last month granted women the right to drive. A statement from the General Sports Authority, carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency late on Sunday, said three stadiums in the major cities of Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh were...
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Trump Vows Justice as US Captures Key Benghazi Militant

Voice of America - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 22:13
U.S. special operations forces captured a militant in Libya accused of playing an instrumental role in the Benghazi attacks, officials said Monday, in a high-stakes operation designed to bring the perpetrators to justice five years after the deadly violence.   President Donald Trump identified the militant as Mustafa al-Imam and said his capture signified that the four Americans who died "will never be forgotten.'' Justice Department officials were escorting al-Imam by...
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Analysts: Turkey May Pay Heavy Price for Iraqi Kurdish Leader's Resignation

Voice of America - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 22:07
Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani's announcement he plans to step down was greeted with jubilation in Turkey’s pro-government media. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Barzani, his once close ally, of betrayal for his decision to hold a September independence referendum. “Ankara, whether or not it indicated clearly, would be clearly happy with the removal of Mr. Barzani as president and replaced with someone else, so that would be seen by a welcome development,” said...
Categories: Iraq

Stuck in Sandstorm, Some Syrians Pause for Reflection

Voice of America - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 21:55
By early afternoon brown dirt blocked the sunlight and a film of dust had settled on the counter. Abbass, 21, packed up a small window display of gold jewelry while his father tapped on a calculator.   The sandstorm in northeastern Syria was going nowhere. No sense staying open for the day.   The men lingered in the shop with a couple of neighbors, hoping the storm would pass before the walk home. They told us only their nicknames, joking that if the government of Syrian...
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Bahrain Convicts Activist's Family Members, Militant Suspects

Voice of America - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 19:44
A Bahrain court sentenced three family members of a prominent activist to jail terms on weapons charges Monday, rights group the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) said and accused authorities of using torture to extract confessions. In a separate case, Bahrain's Public Prosecutor announced Monday that it had sentenced 19 unnamed defendants to prison terms for contacts with a banned party it says is backed by Iran and involved in militant attacks. The cases...
Categories: Iraq

US Commends Kurdish Leader Barzani for Stepping Down

Voice of America - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 18:30
The United States is commending Masoud Barzani's decision to step down from his position as president of Iraq’s Kurdistan region. "President Barzani is a historic figure and courageous leader of his people, most recently in our common fight to destroy ISIS.” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement Monday. “This decision represents an act of statesmanship during a difficult period." The statement called on Iraq and Kurdish Regional Government to...
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Egypt Extends Detention of Man Held Over Rainbow Flag

Voice of America - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 17:41
Egyptian state security prosecutors have extended the pre-trial detention of a young man arrested on charges of ``promoting deviance'' after fans waved rainbow flags at a rock concert last month. Lawyer Hoda Nasrallah says Monday that the hearing for her client, Ahmed Alaa, took place a day earlier. The case involves another young defendant, Sarah Hegazy, whose detention has already been extended until Nov. 13. The two were arrested shortly after the Sept. 22 concert. Rights...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Skips UN Conference on Nuclear Energy in Abu Dhabi

Voice of America - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 17:29
Iran's nuclear deal with world powers may hang in the balance, but you wouldn't know it at the United Nations conference on atomic energy held Monday in the United Arab Emirates. Iran decided to skip the Abu Dhabi conference, leaving its seats empty as Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, avoided speaking about the nuclear deal at all in his address at the venue. Officials at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran did not respond to a request for...
Categories: Iraq

Gaza Tunnel Into Israel Discovered and Detonated

Voice of America - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 17:23
The Israeli military said it discovered and detonated a militant tunnel on Monday that was dug from Gaza into Israel, in a rare flare-up along the tense border that has remained largely quiet since a 2014 war with Gaza's Hamas rulers.   Military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said that thanks to groundbreaking technology this "active tunnel," which was still being dug, was discovered and forces blew it up inside Israeli territory. He said military intelligence had...
Categories: Iraq

Abadi Calls for Calm in Kurdistan After Barzani Resignation

Voice of America - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 16:30
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is calling for calm and a respect for the law in the northern Kurdistan region, a day after its leader announced he was stepping down as president. Abadi said Monday he is closely following the developments in the Kurdistan region and the attacks on the headquarters of the parties "as well as the media and attempts to cause chaos and disturbances in Irbil and Dahuk." He said the central government in Baghdad wants to establish safe...
Categories: Iraq

Kurdish Leader Quits, Latest Fallout From Much-Criticized Independence Vote

NY Times Iraq - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 04:20
Massoud Barzani had pushed for the independence referendum that many Kurdish leaders now see as a catastrophic blunder.
Categories: Iraq